When it comes to online gambling, cryptocurrencies have brought about a paradigm shift in how payments are received and processed in the industry. More than that, it’s altered how players engage with their favorite games. Traditional currencies have always been the standard for online casinos, but as technology advances, times are changing. Passing e-wallets and mobile payments in popularity, cryptocurrencies⎯especially Bitcoin⎯are raising their heads to the sky. This change brings with it a unique set of advantages and challenges for players at casinos that accept Bitcoin, but for the layperson, it can be extremely difficult to decipher the mysterious world of blockchains and cryptocurrencies. Here, we’re hoping to clear things up for you and explore how exactly your gaming experience is changed by the use of Bitcoin versus regular currency.
Security and Anonymity
The innate appeal of blockchain and associated technologies has always been in security and anonymity. Bitcoin is no exception to this. Transactions using traditional currency carry a burden of personal information with them and leave a long digital trail. Bitcoin, however, are considered “pseudonymous”. This means they link to a wallet address that is not readily associated with your identity.
This privacy is of great appeal to people who value their anonymity while gambling, and it also forms a strong safeguard against fraud and identity theft.
Speed of Transactions
Slot online Bitcoin also shines against traditional currencies when it comes to speed. When using regular currency at an online casino, withdrawals can take several days, or even longer, to reach your bank account due to banking and payment processing delays. However, Bitcoin transactions can hit your account in minutes.
This means that if you want to cash out your winnings or make a deposit, you can do so almost instantly when using Bitcoin. No more waiting around to enjoy the spoils of your game⎯with these rapid transaction speeds, players will find their gaming experience significantly enhanced, and frustration significantly reduced!
It’s not just the speed of transactions that are improved by Bitcoin, but also the associated fees. If you play in a different country to where your casino of choice is based, you’ll pay a conversion fee on traditional currency, and even when playing with a local operator, fees for credit card payments and withdrawal processing are abundant. It can be frustrating when you see all these little charges eating into your winnings.
Bitcoin has significantly lower fees, especially for international transactions, as it is a currency without borders. Some fees introduced by the casino may come into play, but customers can expect a much smaller chunk taken off their profit margin compared to traditional payments. With those savings, Bitcoin is a great cost-effective choice.
When it comes to drawbacks, the number one problem customers will face using Bitcoin is its volatility. It’s a core problem with cryptocurrency across industries, and most experts put it down to the newness of the currency. While traditional currencies have an established market, Bitcoin is vulnerable to extreme fluctuations over a short period of time. For gamblers, this means that the money you deposit or withdraw in Bitcoin can change substantially even between the time you start the transaction and when it’s confirmed.
The volatility is a double-edged sword. It can be gutting to see your winnings plummet as the Bitcoin takes a hit right at the wrong time, but there’s also a chance you might land on the sweet spot and see your earnings skyrocket. For those who gain some skill in timing the Bitcoin market, they can see a great profit just by playing the timing right.
To mitigate the risk of Bitcoin’s price volatility, some online casinos offer features like “crypto-lock” or the option to convert your Bitcoin into a stablecoin⎯a cryptocurrency pegged to the value of a traditional currency⎯within the casino platform. This is a must for those who don’t want to chance Bitcoin’s price swings.
Regulation and Legal Considerations
As we mentioned before, Bitcoin is a new currency, and the regulatory environment surrounding its use hasn’t quite had time to settle into a unified shape. While traditional currencies are subject to a familiar set of regulations, you’ll find the restrictions around Bitcoin vary across locations. This can make it a bit tricky to make sure you’re staying on the right side of the law.
Do your due diligence and take a deep dive into the regulatory status around Bitcoin in your locality. It’s important to make sure you’re avoiding legal risk and enjoying a safe gambling experience.